Bradens Trip

Last year in October I auditioned for a 2 and a half week performance tour to the United States with the Young Australian Broadway Chorus. Out of the hundreds that auditioned, only 50 were selected to participate. Over the Christmas holidays, intense rehearsals took place over the period of two weeks where we rehearsed 8 hours a day straight. After this, we did a few practice performances around Melbourne including performances at the Moomba festival and in federation square. Then the time came for us to depart to the U.S. We departed Melbourne International Airport on Saturday the 28th of March for sunny Los Angeles, California.

On the first day we did lots of sightseeing such as Santa Monica Pier, Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood Bowl (where we did a little performance) and of course the Hollywood Sign. The following day we spent all day at Disneyland in Anaheim and the following day we returned to Disneyland where we had our first official performance. This performance was televised on channel 9 news in Australia. On our last day in LA, we went to Universal Studios where we also performed and we luckily snagged some last minute tickets to the Broadway touring casts performance of Rodger's and Hamerstein's 'Cinderella'.

On Wednesday the 1st of April, we departed LAX for Chicago. Staying in the heart of Chicago, we got to do a lot of performances in famous places like the Daily Plaza and the Silver Bean. In Chicago we mainly did a lot of sightseeing and we also got to see an American play titled 'Two Trains Running' (it was so awful that we left at intermission, I'm not even kidding).

On Saturday the 4th of April we departed on an Amtrak overnight service to Washington DC where we were lucky enough to be in first class! Upon arrival in Washington on Sunday the 5th of April, we headed straight for the White House and for the Washington monument. After a lovely day of sightseeing we went to Nando's for dinner which was yummy and then we went to see an incredible musical called Man of La Mancha which was starring Anthony Warlow. After the show we got to do a Q and A with him. The following day we headed back to the lake that runs from the Washington monument to the Abraham Lincoln memorial and did a performance at the cherry blossom festival. We later found out that the famous pop star band MKTO performed on the same stage one or two hours later. The rest of the night we relaxed as the following day we had the big transfer to New York City.

On Tuesday the 7th of April, we all hopped on a private bus that took us from Washington to Philadelphia. This took about 2 and a half hours.  When we arrived in Philadelphia, we visited the famous Liberty bell and ate some lunch in a nearby park. It was in Philadelphia when I actually got the chance to meet up with ex student Jack Johnson as he had recently moved to the United States for his mothers work. After about two hours in Philadelphia, we headed off to Union Station and hopped aboard another Amtrak service to Manhattan, New York.

Once we arrived, we went to our hotel, checked in and were given a total of 10 minutes to unpack as we needed to rush into Times Square to meet out dinner reservations at the famous Planet Hollywood. After dinner, we were treated to out first Broadway show which was a revival of On The Twentieth Century which starred Kristin Chenoweth (a very very famous Broadway and television actress) whom we were lucky enough to meet after the show!

The following day we headed up to the Top Of The Rock which is a very famous viewing deck located above the Rockefeller Centre which gives you an incredible view of New York. We did a little performance up there and then headed back to the theatre district (Times Square) to see very famous Matthew Morrison (from Glee) in his new Broadway show Finding Neverland. After the show was finished, we did a little flash mob in Times Square on the famous red steps and then we headed to the St. James Theatre to see Something Rotten which was absolutely hilarious!

Over the last days of our trip, we did several performances around New York City, including a performance at Coney Island in Brooklyn and a Primary College School. We also got the opportunity to see a few more Broadway shows where we got to meet the cast and do lots of Q&A's  which was great because a few Broadway stars are actually from Australia and they got the chance to tell us how they made it to New York which was amazing. On Sunday the 12th of April, we departed JFK airport for Melbourne and arrived safely on Tuesday the 14th of April.

Thank you for reading about my trip, check out my pictures below.

Braden Mercieca